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PeterCC’s 24-Hour L.A. Food Tour, Sunday Edition

PeterCC Jun 16, 2012 03:37 PM

[Making final preparations before leaving on tonight's food tour (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854184), but decided to post tomorrow's itinerary now.]

Below is the final schedule of stops for Sunday, with the dishes I plan to order. I will try my darndest to stick to my list, but everything is subject to change, based on traffic, wait times, availability, new specials, etc. Asterisks still mark the restaurants I haven’t been to before...

9 AM - Huge Tree Pastry*: You tiao (fried crueller), mi jiang (peanut/rice milk). (~15 minutes, $5+)

9:30 AM - Elite*: Chicken feet, bamboo steamed tofu skin rolls. (~30 minutes, $10+)

10:15 AM - Four Sea*: Gua bao (pork sandwich bun), fan tuan (rice roll), to go. (~15 minutes, $8+)

2 PM - Happy Garden*: Chitterling with pig blood soup, sauteed pork kidney in sesame oil. (~30 minutes, $16+)

2:45 PM - Mama Lu’s Dumpling House*: Xiao long bao, to compare to Dean Sin World’s. (~15 minutes, $8+)

3:15 PM - Dean Sin World*: Xiao long bao, to compare to Mama Lu’s. (~15 minutes, $8+)

3:45 PM - Old Country Cafe*: “Special” (read: stinky) tofu, pig blood cake. (~30 minutes, $12+)

4:30 PM - UMAMIcatessen*: Off the PIGG (“P!GG”) menu: crispy pig ears, parsley, lemon & brainnaise; Iberico de Bellota crudo. (~45 minutes, $25+)

5:30 PM - NanBanKan*: Chicken hearts, shishamo (smelt), quail eggs. (~45 minutes, $16+)

You may have noticed that my Sea Harbour stop has been replaced by Elite. No, I was not scared off by “dickhead”-muttering waitresses (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853113). Rather, I realized that if I went somewhere new, then my entire tour, both days, would consist only of places I’ve never tried! Also, Elite opens earlier than Sea Harbour, allowing me to swap its position with Four Sea, which works out better (see next paragraph).

You may have also noticed a large gap in my schedule, between my 10:15 AM stop at Four Sea and my 2 PM stop at Happy Garden. This is due to an unanticipated engagement in Pomona that will eat up few hours (no pun intended). Four Sea will become a take-out stop, and I will have my gua bao and fan tuan during this downtime. Unfortunately, I also had to drop some stops (VP Tofu, Guisados) to accommodate this detour.

In the original thread, I had mentioned ending the day at a mystery spot, which I had planned to be Tar & Roses. The idea was that I’d begin my tour with pig ears at Animal and then end my tour with pig ears at Tar & Roses. However, I decided to drop the dish from my Animal visit. Therefore, I am also dropping my Tar & Roses stop; I’ll probably be too stuffed by then anyway. I’ll have to settle with sampling pig ears only once on this tour, from porcine-centric chef Chris Cosentino’s PIGG menu.

I also toyed with replacing NanBanKan with 7015 Melrose for AYCE sushi (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854089), but decided that was too crazy to do at the end of a long food tour, as AYCE would be a waste of money when I’ll have already eaten so much. And I hear quality has gone down at 7015 Melrose after the departure of several chefs.

Final Google Maps for Sunday: http://goo.gl/maps/SRK4

Estimates:

On the Road: 8:30 AM
Arrive Home: 6:30 PM
Duration: 10 hours; minus 3 hours for detour: 7 hours
Cost: $108 (before drinks, taxes, and tips)

If anyone has any additional comments or suggestions, I’ll be checking this thread regularly, even while “on tour” (cellular reception permitting).

[The original discussion thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852040]

  1. PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 07:00 PM

    Fourth Stop: Wakasan

    3:45 PM - Though Old Country Cafe is air-conditioned, the awful traffic and heat has done me in (my car's A/C does not work). It's said that heat makes people less hungry. Despite my ability to pack in as much food as I did last night, or perhaps because of it, I simply do not feel like eating even though I had only been to three stops today and didn't have much at each. I tuck my proverbial tail between my legs and head for milder climes.

    4:30 PM - If the point of the tour is to enjoy the food, then I have to make myself comfortable again. I go home, shower, change, and ponder my next move.

    6 PM - Since I'm back on the Westside, I'm not going to go all the way to DTLA for UMAMIcatessen, and since I was not in the mood for just kushiyaki, I decided on Wakasan over NanBanKan. I call and they can fit me in at 6:30 PM.

    9 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC
      b
      bulavinaka Jun 17, 2012 07:05 PM

      We Westsiders are climactically-challanged. Below 70 degrees, "Ooh - it's freezing..." Above 70 degrees, "Ooh - it's boiling..."

      You have been making a more than valiant effort since your 24 hours began. Keep your chin up, enjoy your kushiyaki at Wakasan, and thank the Pacific Ocean that you live near the coast.

      1. re: bulavinaka
        Sarah Jun 17, 2012 07:28 PM

        You are so right about the weather challenged -- same here in SFBay Area -- and when the fog rolls in, villain or savior?
        Anxiously awaiting your reports, although we head south only infrequently.

        1. re: bulavinaka
          PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 07:29 PM

          Sorry, somehow I missed a critical "not" in the above comment, now corrected. I was _not_ in the mood for just kushiyaki so I chose Wakasan.

          Thanks for the words of encouragement. Wasn't sure if anyone was reading the "live" comments.

          1. re: PeterCC
            b
            bulavinaka Jun 17, 2012 09:25 PM

            The play-by-play is great - it puts us in your state of mind, and how your stomach is affecting it, along with all the logistical torment that I think all of us (including you) knew was going to be a major part of your odyssey.

            1. re: bulavinaka
              PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 09:48 PM

              Thanks, I'm back from Wakasan. My cup runneth over. Now I just gotta figure out how I'm gonna write it all up. :-)

              1. re: PeterCC
                n
                New Trial Jun 18, 2012 01:19 AM

                In bite-sized portions, of course!

                1. re: New Trial
                  k
                  kevin Jun 18, 2012 09:34 AM

                  Yep. :)

                2. re: PeterCC
                  a
                  attran99 Jun 18, 2012 09:34 AM

                  PeterCC, you should be commended for your efforts! Thanks for the live play-by-play. Can't wait to read your assessments of the journey.

                  1. re: PeterCC
                    k
                    kevin Jun 18, 2012 09:36 AM

                    Dang, you missed out on some places. You really have to stick to the plan.

                    ... Just trying to give you a heard time, when I read you orginal post I was like even due to driving how where you going to get to all these places and actually eat there. and usually you noted like 15 min spent at a place, but even if you act fast due to service issues that are out of your control it could take minimim about 30 to 35 minuts at some places.

          2. PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 03:18 PM

            Third Stop: Old Country Cafe

            3:15 PM - L.A.'s "dickhead" traffic causes me to miss out on both Happy Garden and Mama Lu's, as they are closed between 3 PM and 5 PM, by making it take 45 minutes to go from Pomona to the 605 on the 10. The 10 clears up completely after the 605. I detour to Old Country Cafe and order a zhu xue gao and chou dou fu.

            1. PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 02:08 PM

              Second Stop: Four Sea

              10:30 AM - Depart Huge Tree Pastry (review forthcoming).

              10:45 AM - Arrive at Si Hai, short lines, order a suan cai fan tuan (meant to order a lu dan suan cai fan tuan but forgot) and a gua bao to go.

              10:50 AM - Depart for Pomona.

              2:00 PM - Getting ready to leave Pomona.

              1. PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 10:09 AM

                First Stop: Huge Tree Pastry

                9:30 AM - Depart the Westside for SGV.

                10 AM - Arrive at HTP. Order the mi jiang, you tiao, and ô-á-chian.

                10:05 AM - Mi jiang and you tiao arrive, both piping hot.

                10:15 AM - Ô-á-chian arrive. It is a big plate. Don't think I need to or can even eat more before Pomona.

                1. PeterCC Jun 17, 2012 08:58 AM

                  Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Getting to a late start this morning. Will try to leave for SGV in the next 10 minutes. Depending on how the drive and first stop goes, I may have to drop either Elite or Four Sea, the two stops _not_ within spittin' distance of the 10 (between Valley and Garvey along the freeway) to make my appointment in Pomona later on. I shouldn't have to drop both stops, hopefully.

                  1. Porthos Jun 17, 2012 01:24 AM

                    At Elite, the two things to get are the beancurd skin rolls, and sticky rice in lotus leaves.

                    Also for XLB why do Mama Lu vs Dean Sin World? Why not do J&J and Shanghai #1 instead. At least the styles will be different.

                    1. y
                      yangster Jun 16, 2012 11:03 PM

                      While you're at UMAMIcatessen, you should consider ordering the foie doughnut from & a Donut. That might be too much food considering you'd be at the end of your 24hour run (plus you still have another stop afterwards), but since everything foie will be gone (presumably) in a couple of weeks, this might be the last chance to try it.

                      It's about the size of the baseball, but it's surprisingly light on the stomach (the foie mousse is pretty mild).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: yangster
                        PeterCC Jun 16, 2012 11:42 PM

                        I had it on my list and then I took it off. I haven't decided yet if I'll put it back on.

                      2. l
                        linus Jun 16, 2012 04:49 PM

                        i apologize for the repetition, but i still think, even though your time is tight, it would be a shame if you went to dean sin world and didn't go right across the street to qing dao bread food. something about that place i really like.
                        here's some pics from someone's blog:
                        http://gastronomyblog.com/2009/03/12/...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: linus
                          PeterCC Jun 16, 2012 05:32 PM

                          Hi Linus, I admire your persistence. The whole Pomona detour has really thrown a wrench in things, but I'll see how I'm doing when I get to Dean Sin World. What's your favorite thing to get at Qing Dao Bread Food?

                          1. re: PeterCC
                            l
                            linus Jun 16, 2012 10:03 PM

                            there's a picture in the link i posted of some pan fried dumplings that have a "disc" of crust, for lack of a better term, holding them together at the bottom. havent encountered that elsewhere, and theyre really tasty. i like the fish dumplings, too.

                            1. re: linus
                              PeterCC Jun 16, 2012 10:16 PM

                              Thanks, I think I've seen that fried flower/pinwheel at dumpling places in Taiwan. Do they do that with different dumpling filling besides pork and cabbage? I guess I can just wait to look at the menu tomorrow...

                              1. re: PeterCC
                                n
                                New Trial Jun 17, 2012 12:43 AM

                                There are a few places locally which offer something like this--recently the L.A. Times wrote about the version at Jidiaya in Gardena, called the "UFO gyoza."

                                http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/daily...

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